Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ding Ding Ding Goes The Revit...

I've bitched before about all of the meaningless, annoying, and otherwise esoteric sounding error messages that Revit vomits onto the screen - but there is a far worse, and considerably more annoying aspect to Revit: the 'ding'.

When you receive a 'ding' it means you are trying to do something that Revit doesn't want you to do - and so you get 'dinged' for it.

I have watched even highly experienced users attempting a simple task, and having Revit ding at them a half-dozen times before they are able to complete it because it requires you to remember a specific order for commands and selections that isn't always logical or consistent ('create similar' for example requires you to select an item first, then initiate the command - for no apparent reason).

There is nothing more frustrating than wanting to make that simple change, under pressure, and have a goddamned box ding at you over and over for no apparent reason other than 'Sorry Dave, Revit Can't Let You Do That'.

This is mainly what I am talking about when I describe the Revit interface as obtuse and unintuitive.  It's a running joke among all of the Revit users that I know, but it's not even remotely funny - especially when it involves me spending valuable time and mental energy trying to convince a program to just let me lay out my fucking shit and get on with my fucking life.

When I am asked about 'why u not use tha revitz? it's tha shiznit!', it's impossible to properly express my disgust without first taking the person by the face and bouncing their fucking head off of my desk two or three times. 

Any attempt at listing off specific issues gets met with vague hand waving, oversimplification, and a lack of comprehension of what it is I am even talking about.  It's no different now than it was when Revit was first introduced - people who don't do my job telling me how to do my job with software that hinders my ability to effectively do my job.

It's comical that most of them agree with me on almost all of the limitations and shortcomings of Revit (although some require a little pressure to admit it).  It is probably easier for an Architect to overlook some of these, since when you see the result of their 3D designs, it is impressive - but again, it's all basically rendering.

They are constantly (and I mean constantly) having to fake things in - usually requiring several attempts, and then they have to remember what they faked in (and god help you if you open someone else's model and don't know what's what). 

It's not uncommon for a project to stall at some point - the owner has to go blow someone to get the money, the architect realizes that they've designed something that the owner can't afford (even after their throats are sore), or there is a problem with the property they have purchased: 'it seemed like such a good deal - I couldn't believe that the entire property was taken up by easements, right-of-ways, and had previously been a landfill'.

At any rate, we're left with a project dangling - and in a lot of cases, once the jizz clears, the people working on the second (or third, or fourth) attempt aren't the same people who started it.  I've had several architects try to take over another persons job, and because there ARE NO FUCKING STANDARDS FOR THE GODDAMNED SOFTWARE (and everyone is allowed to pretty much take off in their own direction - as long as they are 'reviting' - which is partially an office problem, but still one that I hold Revit accountable for), they are stuck with a shitty model, bloated, lagged... the... fuck... out..., and any place it does look good, it's wrong.

That last point seems to escape some people - it doesn't matter how pretty your model looks if it's FUCKING WRONG, and the more elaborate a model gets the harder it is to make tweaks without causing a domino effect.  This has led to the occasional designer choosing to start from scratch rather than trying to unclusterfuck somebody else's half-assed shit (or at least wishing they had by the time all was said and done).  Of course, those of us who are waiting on a simple goddamned set of plans so we can get started get fucked in the interim either way.

There are ALWAYS delusions about how far a project was along before it stalled, how easily all of the information that was previously discussed will be recalled and applied, and (of course) how much of that information has changed drastically in the interim, while nobody was in the loop to catch it.  It can easily be the same as starting over.

Pulling up older projects - whether to unstall, revise, or in order to get information from them is the next problem - as I have been railing about, the version they are created in, and the inability to simply open the file without first converting - it can make even a 5 second change take 1/2 an hour (or, even better - finding out that you attempted to open it in an older version of Revit only to have it load for 5 minutes before telling you that someone has already converted the file to a newer version).

Someone I was complaining to online suggested putting the Revit release in the file name.  That's great - if anyone does it (or changes it when the version changes - which I can almost guarantee would dick with the way files are cross-linked) but nothing addresses the fact that after a certain point we will be forced to convert every single file that we need to open, no matter how simple the change, or even just to look at the goddamned thing.

And that's if the fucking thing doesn't eat itself when trying to convert, or throw up a stack of meaningless error messages that basically add up to 'you are fucked'.

Or - it might just ding at you.

Next time: I attempt to set up Revit 2014 for 'Electrical Design' (whatever the fuck that is).


  1. You are my hero!

  2. Wherever there are designers being abused by Autodesk, Revit and it's army of dickless fuckheads - I WILL BE THERE!!!

  3. You reached right into my fractured, bleeding skull and wrote my exact sentiments! The worst part, which you failed to capture, is how fucking much money we shell out for this shit!